The devil is in the ants

So my hopes for a spiritual start to the Lenten season have been derailed by a total ant onslaught inside our apartment this morning. Living in an old house, we have numerous cracks in our walls and ceiling, and there is one such crack (where we experienced terrible flooding a few weeks ago) through which an entire colony of ants are now streaming. And I don’t get it: the more Simple Green (our weapon of choice) I spray, the more ants come pouring through. Wouldn’t you want to escape the poisonous, murdering substance and run the other way?

I am so disjointed and annoyed and a little high from Simple Green fumes that I have to laugh at last night’s post declaring my noble spiritual intentions for the days to come. And it is not gang warfare or vandalism or some injustice in my community that has deflated me: it’s the ant crawling on my keyboard.


  1. Just so you know, my Lent started with a lunch time binge on Taco Bell. So much for a time for seaching for Jesus to fill those places of pain – I headed for the drive-thru. May God have mercy on us as we face the reality of how desperately we need him.

  2. Erika,

    No, this is the perfect follow-up post to yesterday’s. What better way for the enemy to take our focus off loving our neighbor? Ants. My “inflated desire”, as you put it so eloquently, is to have no ants streaming into our home. Or a sink that sprays water in 10 directions. Or a constantly needy furnance. But I will think of your ants now, as a reminder to not spend all my time in prayer for my annoyances and disruptions to go away, but that I would be led away from the temptation to sin because of them. That I would love in the midst of them.

    Thanks, Erika

  3. Thanks, Heather. That is very well (and authentically) spoken. It sounds like our sinks have a bit in common too 🙂

  4. this is a very unspiritual response, but if you know where the ants are coming in, putting a piece of tape to block them works too.
    (i didn’t miss the significance of it either, by the way) 😉

  5. Just so you know, Simple Green is neither poisonous or murdering. It’s actually a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner that won’t do anything to help your ant problem. Although, once they are dead, the Simple Green will do a lovely job of cleaning up. I heard once that a line of baking soda will deter them… never tried it myself, not sure how it works. I’ve also heard that hairspray works to get rid of them. That one I’ve tried – either I did it wrong or I was lied to, because it did nothing to get rid of the ants in my kitchen.

  6. I’ve had the same visitors recently. I’ve been dousing them with baby powder and that seems to be doing the trick!

  7. Dee,

    You are right about the Simple Green–I use it precisely because it is non-toxic. That said, it manages to stop them in their tracks, though clearly it does nothing to deter their reinforcements 🙂

    I don’t have any hairspray, but I do have Baking soda. I tried powder last night in a few places…we’ll see what happens!

  8. Erika,

    What a funny coincidence. I never got my post written yesterday because I had men with jackhammers on my patio all day and into the evening. I felt like they were drilling through my brain. They’re coming back today to drill into my living room floor—in search of a leaking pipe. I showered out at the pool this morning. We’ve had no hot water all week.

    I’m glad I’ve had a lot of practice with this sort of thing.

    As to the ants, if you get desperate, Home Depot sells some effect ant traps. I think they’re called Zap or something like that.


  9. I second the baby powder vote… or flour, or some powder. That’s the only thing my mother could find that would even slow them down on the mission field. She would circle our dinner table with a square of powder, because the ants in Indonesia converge immediately!

  10. Erika,
    I’ve used whatever spray I had handy and that stopped them, but you are far kinder than I if you are using Simple Green.
    Maybe the ants just like you and want to be close to you…..although one on the keyboard is a bit much!

  11. So I have tried the powder now in a few places. It is really messy and not great considering the kiddos (kids shouldn’t inhale the talc stuff). So I just put it out at night then clean it up. So far it seems to be helping a bit!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *